Early morning on Española Island felt hot from the moment the sun started to come up behind the oldest island in the archipelago. The sky looked as blue as ever, with some white clouds gently floating over it. Frigates, with their long amazing wings, surrounded the boat. Turtles came to greet everyone from the clear crystal water surrounding us. You can’t help but feel there is something special about this island that draws you in.
Immediately after disembarking, we were met by huge colonies of marine iguanas, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, mockingbirds, and even albatrosses. Talk about checking off some amazing species from your Big15 list! What´s great is that we get the chance to see most of these amazing wildlife practically year-round. No wonder the Galapagos archipelago is considered one of the most diverse places in the world.
Our day in Española was almost over. We were hungry and ready to head back to our beautiful ship but something was waiting for us back at the beach. Not unusual, but nevertheless surprising, a rather large colony of sea lions was present, calmly spending their day along the shore. They were blocking our way back to our pangas when all of a sudden they all got up and ran into the water! As if they were all in the middle of a race! Huge males, delicate-looking females, and a very large group of playful pups continued with their daily activities after this somewhat bizarre episode, totally unaware of our presence and simply minding their own business. Granted, the smell that emanates from sea lion colonies is not particularly nice, but to see such a large group of animals in their natural habitat is truly a sight to behold!
That is what you will get when you visit the Ecuadorian archipelago on an amazing Galapagos cruise. First-hand access to the most secluded and amazing non-inhabited islands, where you will be the witness to natural life inside its own territory! You will rarely encounter so much wildlife that is so oblivious of the human presence around it. As tour guides and tour operators, our main objective is to keep it that way. We are just passing through and are but guests in a unique world.
Due to their friendliness, curiosity, and sweet faces, sea lions are a big favorite among visitors. It is really difficult not to fall in love with them. This playful animal will certainly be one of the most seen during your Galapagos adventure. Be it on the beach, atop some inaccessible-looking lava rocks, sleeping under a bench at a dock, practically “owning” local fishermen boats whose actual owners later have to scare them away, sea lions are almost everywhere in the archipelago!
When locals and visitors take a swim at one of the many beautiful white sand beaches found throughout the islands, sea lions are sure to be around. Do not get scared if they get too close. These curious mammals like to play with divers and the bubbles of snorkellers. They like to dance around swimmers and they might even try to touch you if they feel brave enough. Just remember to try not to touch them yourself, no matter how close or friendly they get. It is absolutely forbidden to touch any animal species on the island.
Our day on the oldest island in the archipelago is guaranteed to become a happy memory that we will fondly remember in the coming years. If you have not yet visited Española, do not miss the opportunity to do so through one of our Galapagos tours. You will love it!